A Birthday Ballade for Anthony Hecht
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This broadside was printed letterpress in an edition of 225 as part of the 80th birthday celebrations for poet Anthony Hecht at the West Chester University Poetry Conference in 2003. Richard Wilbur’s playful and affectionate tribute is written as a ballade, a French medieval form that was often set to music (note the refrain at the end of each stanza). Wilbur’s dexterous use of rhyme and meter in this ballade is itself a tribute to Hecht, who was known for his erudition, his interest in music, and his fluency in formal verse.
Richard Wilbur. “A Birthday Ballade for Anthony Hecht.” West Chester, Pennsylvania: Aralia Press, 2003.